Sunday, June 8, 2008

The things I've learned

I've learned a few things since I've been here so far:
1. Seattlelites seriously don't know how good we have it, we might break a sweat while working or running, here you sweat sitting down
2. Cold showers really can feel amazing
3. I'll probably never be able to wear my hair straight while I'm here
4. Water taxis may not be the fastest form of transportation here, but they sure are fun
5. Water is my new best friend
6. I should have devoted a suitcase to Dr. Pepper and diet soda, because they don't have them here... :(
7. Americans really do eat to much. We went t dairy queen the other day and the Large Blizzard size was smaller than an American small
8. Thai food isn't really that spicy
9. Fruit shakes are amazing!
10. It is impossible to find picture frames and thumbtacks here, grrrrr!!!!!!
11. Thai people do NOT use chopsticks. It's a fork and spoon always, but harldy a knife to be found....

And I'll leave off at 11 right now. I thought of a ton more last night but now they've left my head.

Today I went to church with most of the other teachers to a church in an ex-patriot community nearby. It was really great to be among other english speakers who weren't of the tourist variety. And I thought it was kind of funny, the pastor actually spoke on "The Narrow Door" which is the same topic of the CIY conference I went to with the youth group earlier in the year. The ex-patriot community itself is pretty great. For starters some pretty rich folk live there (and some not so rich), like oil company CEO's etc. So some of the houses are amazing, straight out of southern California. What's really great though is there is a pool, which I hear sometimes we take advantage of after church, and there is also a grocery store there where you can get western things such as Doritos, chocolate chips, cheese, pepperidge farm cookies and ben and jerrys ice cream. Obviously for a price tough, like twice as much as back home, but they're so precious here! Then afterwards we went to a Mexican Restaurant named Que Pasa and had some great Mexican food. I ordered a Root Beer and it tasted more like those rootbeer flavored hard candies than actual rootbeer (they don't generally have rootbeer here), so that was unfortunate, guess I wont be getting that again.
Yesterday we went on another adventure. A group of I think 9 or so of us new teachers took a water taxi down to the Grand Palace area with the attention of going there so we all wore shoes and pants (you have to cover up to go to the palace), but we ended up spending the whole time at Wat Pho which is next to the grand palace. No complaints there though, the architecture was amazing! This Wat is also the home to a HUGE golden reclining Buddha, so that was our first stop there. It was incredible to see it just based on it's sheer size. Obviously Buddha statues mean nothing to me, except for the fact that they are the symbol of a religion that I am battling against daily here, I do like to look at them though, especially when they are an architectural wonder like this. Now, I've seen massive reclining Buddhas before in Myanmar so that was nothing new, but they were different. For starters this one was completely gold and the space around it was much more limited than the ones I'd been to before so it was much harder to take pictures (all I care about).
Beyond that Buddha there was stupa upon stupa all covered in tile flower designs. They amount of work that went into them had to have been massive. We walked around and took pictures then walked more and took more. Finally we heard some chanting so we meandered over to the main temple and all the young Buddhist monks were in there getting a lesson (we assume). It was super cool to see, but sad to think about. The whole time I was shouting in my mind whatever he's telling you isn't truth or the way!
We made our way back on the water taxi then after much deliberation went to eat dinner at a Vietnamese restaurant which was nasty, I'm never going back and then we went to Swensons and got ice cream followed by a quick trip up to Big C where I bought a cell phone. It was just a cheap $30 phone, now all I have to do is buy a sim card. Here in Thailand they don't have cell carriers you just buy the phone and buy minutes, which is actually much more convenient. I think we're going to go to the mall tonight so I'm going to try and get my sim there.
Teacher Orientation starts tomorrows. It's going to be a crazy week. I'm alitle nervous...

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